Nowadays most people in the photography circle seems to dream about being a full-time photographer. I have known a few people who do wedding/event photography. The market is simply very competitive.
I remember when I first started photography in 2011, not many people own a camera. Nowadays, everyone has a smart phone.
Suddenly, everyone is a photographer. All you need is a memory card, camera, photo editing software and a determined & creative mindset. With that being said, even the aunty mending the digital image printing shop is now a photographer. All she does is to ask you to stand against a white wall and uses a digital camera to take your low quality ugly ID shot. She doesn’t know anything about settings & lighting.
Unlike the (ancient) past, camera was very expensive, and you need to have a darkroom to do professional work. Hence, people always pay to have their photos taken by a professional photographer in the studio. In the current time, people are not even willing to spend $50 for a professional CV photoshoot because they think smart phone can do the same job (Yes, one of my friends).
When I interviewed or asked around, many have goals to be a full-time photographer. I also have friend who gave up his corporate job so he can focus on his photography work. He said he might be richer to buy a lot of equipment but he wouldn’t have time to maintain his website and build his portfolio.
What’s your purpose of photography?
There is nothing wrong with aiming to be a full-time photographer.If you are full of zest, and this has been your dream since you ever remember, then good for you. Go for it.
However, I have been asking myself: what’s my purpose in photography?
I think I like to take photos. I am addicted to clicking the shutter release, especially on film camera. Digital camera doesn’t excite me anymore. Every day, I go out of the house with a camera in my bag. Every morning, I will stand in front of my rows of cameras and decide which one to bring with me.
If I go out of the house without a camera, I feel naked. But even if I brought my camera along, I might not even get to click the shutter release.
I take photos for my joy
Hence, it seems that I take photos for my personal joy. I know my photos are not brilliant, and it doesn’t ‘wow’ people that much. But at least I am happy clicking it and have frequent birthday presents to myself.
Of course, unlike Vivian Meier, I like to display my photos out on social medias. Otherwise, you won’t even be reading this blog. Blogging (aka writing diary) is also my hobby. I am an introvert and I don’t like to blabber much so I write down my thoughts.
Previously, I joined my photographer friend as an ‘assistant’ to shoot wedding and several photo-shoots. Oh damn, if you think photographers are flexible with their timings, you are quite wrong.
Photographers have to wake up super early to chase the light. You also have to go according to your client’s schedule. After the actual work, your ‘boss’ will rush you for their photos. Isn’t it the same as being another office job? Maybe the difference is you own the company.
Passion doesn’t need to be your full-time job
For people who managed to turn their passion into their job and still love it, they are extremely lucky.
I have known one person personally and heard of a few cases where they managed to get a few photography assignments, ended up hating photography and quit. Because what they deem as art, clients cannot appreciate and reject their work. Besides, they were also being bossed around because of one principle: client is always right.
Count my blessing
I am blessed that I have a job that pays my rent, my lust for film cameras, films and whatever else. Most importantly, I have the money to travel a bit.
Although I am always ranting about how I cannot take a long leave to travel, but hell, reality is bitch. I don’t have what it takes to become an entrepreneur or ways to earn money while travel, so I shall stay humble and work.
Who knows, if I turn travel into work, I might end up hating it. Because traveling is all about enduring hardship and being thrown out in an unfamiliar environment. Your adapting skill must be damn good.
Grass is always greener on the other side.
It’s good to have a routine lifestyle, do what I enjoy, have something to look forward to (holiday, develop film negative).
Of course, having said all this, I still dream for the day I can be free and travel for fun. Ha!
This blog is just my thoughts on becoming a full-time photographer. Overall, I don’t wish to become one. I just want to travel and at the same time take photos till my heart content.
Everyone has different goal. Some people are born into this world to make a difference. Me, I am just an ordinary girl. Of course I wish to become a successful person in whatever I am doing. But I also wish I will stay true to myself and whatever will happen, will happen.
So, all the best to all whose dream is to become a photographer.